Driving around in tanks and shooting is hard on the ears:
A recent report from the Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that nearly seventy thousand of the 1.3 million soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are collecting disability for tinnitus, and more than fifty-eight thousand are on disability for hearing loss. In 2006, the V.A. reportedly spent five hundred and thirty-nine million dollars on payments to veterans with tinnitus.
I shot an AR-15 a couple months ago without proper hearing protection. Stupid, but Iâ€™d just bought it and wanted to see how it worked on the drive home. So I stuffed torn napkins in my ear, put a ski cap on over them and shot a magazine through it. Then I thought â€œwow â€“ thatâ€™s loud, I better stopâ€. So I did, but the ringing didnâ€™t stop for a few days.
I can only imagine what a sustained firefight or an IED would do to hearing.
I still remember my Uncle Harold always saying â€œwhat boy? Canâ€™t hear youâ€. Heâ€™d lost his hearing somewhere on Guam, Saipain, Tinian or Iwo Jima.
Technology didnâ€™t then exist to protect hearing while still permitting conversation. But it does now. The Army should field electronic hearing protection devices to its troops post haste.
I wear mine for hours on the range. They are comfy long term, enhance your hearing, and protect against loud sounds.